CropSwap Provides Nutritious Foods to Address Food Insecurity

Online grocer launches new initiative to help L.A.'s most vulnerable communities
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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CropSwap Provides Nutritious Foods to Address Food Insecurity
CropSwap has partnered with Nourish LA to bring fresh organic food to Los Angeles residents battling food insecurity.

CropSwap, a farm-to-phone app that connects consumers and businesses with local selections from sustainable farmers, has launched a new initiative that will help provide fresh organic foods to some of Los Angeles' most food-insecure communities.

Feeding America estimates that more than 17 million people in the United States have experienced food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. In Los Angeles aloneone in four residents have battled food insecurity since the COVID-19 crisis.

CropSwap has partnered with Nourish LA, a local organization focused on feeding nutritious foods to under-resourced Los Angeles communities, to create a new in-app function that will allow users to donate a seasonal Harvest Box from Sow a Heart Farm, a regenerative farm in Fillmore, California, containing 40 pounds of organic, locally grown produce enough to sustain a family for a week for $50.

"Part of our vision in creating CropSwap was to radically reform our food system and address food insecurity in our local community," said Rob Reiner, CEO of CropSwap. "During these difficult times, we aim to make fresh, locally grown produce more accessible to all communities in Los Angeles — and our partnership with Nourish LA is making this vision a reality."

Local gardener, advocate and urban farmer Natalie Flores founded Nourish LA last year after seeing the growing need for access to fresh, nutritious foods once the pandemic began. Through food donation partners that have included local farms, community trees, supermarkets and now CropSwap, Nourish LA has managed to give an estimated 32,000 bags of food to people in need, while also diverting more than 1.3 million pounds in food waste.

"We especially admire Nourish LA's focus on providing healthy, real food," said Reiner. "Coincidentally, we work with some really great organic farmers who were happy to contribute through our app."

Major food retailers have also made the push to provide healthier foods to those battling food insecurity. Part of Publix Super Markets’ recently launched Feeding More Together program entails the retailer purchasing produce from local farmers and delivering it directly to food banks.

Privately owned and operated by its more than 225,000 employees, Lakeland, Florida-based Publix operates 1,268 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The grocer opened a new store concept in Tampa, Florida, in December. Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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